Northam Proposes Releasing Middle-Aged Murderers

Released from prison because he was considered too old to be dangerous, 77-year-old Maine resident Albert Flick killed Kimberly Dobbie in front of her sons in 2018.

by Hans Bader

Virginia’s governor wants to make most murderers eligible for parole when they reach age 50. You’d never know that from reading the news stories written by liberal reporters. They say Democratic Governor Ralph Northam wants to help “elderly” inmates.

But that’s contradicted by the governor’s own website. Under his plan, it says, “An individual would be eligible for consideration of parole if they are at least 50 years old and have served 20 years, or are 55 years old and have served 15 years.” A person who is 50 years old or 55 years old is middle-aged, not elderly. Most definitions put middle age as from 45 to 65, and none define people under age 60 as elderly.

But liberal-leaning press entities like the Associated Press didn’t report the fact that Northam’s proposal could result in the release of middle-aged murderers, or people at age 50 or 55. The Associated Press claimed the governor “wants to extend parole eligibility for prisoners who are elderly.” And the Daily Press reported that “Northam wants to give the state parole board more authority to grant early release from prison when inmates are elderly.”

That leaves the false impression that these inmates are so old that they are no threat to anyone. After all, virtually no one commits murder in their 80’s. But Governor Northam’s proposal would let inmates be released at 50 or 55, lower than the age at which famous serial killers were still active. These inmates are younger than serial murderer Albert Fish, who killed from age 54 to age 62, and Dorothea Puente, who killed from age 53 to 59. Many other serial killers continued killing into their 50’s, such as Peter Tobin (up to age 60), John Reginald Christie (up to age 53), and Ted Kaczynski (up to age 52).

By making it sound like the governor’s parole proposal would benefit only harmless elderly inmates, the media hid what was radical and potentially controversial about it — leaving citizens uninformed about its true scope.

The media wrongly made it sound like the governor was only trying to partly restore parole in Virginia. Virginia largely abolished parole in 1995, but it still permits “geriatric release” of elderly inmates if they haven’t committed Class 1 felonies — that is, the worst murders. Democratic legislators recently proposed restoring parole in Virginia across the board, even for those inmates who were sentenced at a time when parole was not available. (When a judge or jury knows that parole is not available, they sometimes choose a shorter sentence.)

But for the worst murderers, Northam’s proposal appears to go beyond restoring parole rights that once existed, to create parole rights that did not exist in Virginia a generation ago. Back before parole was largely abolished in Virginia, parole became available at different times for different criminals, based on their sentence and their crime. Most murderers sentenced to life in prison became eligible for parole after just 15 years. But the worst murderers, such as Class 1 offenders, might have to wait 25 years or more before becoming eligible for parole. Class 1 offenders given life sentences had to wait 25 years – such as murderers who abduct and rape their victims before killing them, or murderers who kill multiple people within a three-year period. People given two or more life sentences for murder had to wait 30 years for parole if the murders included a Class 1 felony.

But under Northam’s proposal, these common-sense distinctions would vanish. Even the cruelest murderers would be eligible for parole after only 15 years in prison (when they reach age 55) or only 20 years (when they reach age 50).

Even progressive survivors of murder victims would probably object to that. Survivors who publicly oppose the death penalty typically want the killer to receive at least life without parole, for the sake of public safety, and their own security and peace of mind. Northam’s proposal would largely eliminate that option. Fewer than than 2% of all murderers have been sentenced to death in recent years, many of those sentences are never carried out, and progressive prosecutors in northern Virginia refuse to seek it out of political opposition to the death penalty. So, Northam’s proposal would eliminate the only effective way of keeping the worst murderers permanently off the streets.

A murderer can remain dangerous even after spending decades in prison and being deemed no longer a threat by authorities. As USA Today reported in July:

A man who served decades in prison for stabbing his wife 14 times in front of her daughter was convicted [in 2019] in a nearly identical crime — stabbing a woman at least 11 times while her twin children watched.

Albert Flick, 77, whom a judge previously deemed too old to be a threat, was convicted in the 2018 death of Kimberly Dobbie.

This is not surprising. Prisons exist to prevent criminals from committing more crimes while incarcerated. They also exist to deter violent crimes by imposing unpleasant consequences on those who commit them — the longer the sentence, the more it deters criminals from committing crimes in the first place.

But prisons don’t exist to morally transform inmates, which is a task that is usually beyond their power. The government doesn’t have the power to change someone’s soul.

As a result, many inmates have gone on to commit violent crimes or even murder after being paroled, or completing their sentences. They do not all “age out” of crime, especially if they are released before their sixties.

Keeping inmates in prison longer reduces the crime rate. For example, the National Bureau of Economic Research has a web page titled “Sentence Enhancements Reduce Crime.” It discusses a study that found crime went down in California in the 1990’s due to criminals’ “serving longer sentences” and the fact that criminals “were still locked up, rather than out on the streets committing crime.” Studies show harsh penalties deter crimes such as murder more effectively than lenient penalties.

An ancient Jewish proverb notes that “He who is kind to the cruel is cruel to the kind.” It is cruel to release a murderer from prison after just 15 or 20 years when the murderer  tortured or starved the victim to death, or killed multiple victims. That is an insult to the victim’s relatives, and would deprive them of their peace of mind and sense of security.

Yet that is what Northam’s proposal would permit — even though such horrible crimes would result in life imprisonment without parole in much of America, including some very liberal states that are working to reduce their incarceration rates.

But you would never know any of this from reading the stories about Northam’s proposal in liberal newspapers like the Washington Post and the Daily Press.

Hans Bader is an attorney living in Northern Virginia. This column was published originally on Liberty Unyielding.

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35 responses to “Northam Proposes Releasing Middle-Aged Murderers

  1. At the very least, before passing any such legislation, lawmakers should demand to know the age distribution of Virginians convicted of murder. How many (and what percentage) were 50 or older when they committed murder?

    • Yep – I’d like to see some data. And for murderers and other violent crimes – I’d like to know their history. Was the murder the only thing they ever did and a crime of passion or was the Murder one of many felonies committed?

      Some people are evil and violent – and there is no rehabilitation and we ought not inflict them on innocents though prisons are such hell-holes that it amounts to a form of torture – which I oppose done to anything that lives.

  2. This data published by Statista breaks down the age of murderers in the United States by age — of those whose age was determined, 1,252 were 50 or older.

  3. “Crime in Virginia 2017” Virginia Dept. of State Police, p.12
    https://www.vsp.virginia.gov/downloads/Crime_in_Virginia/Crime_in_Virginia_2017.pdf
    Murder/Nonnegligent Manslaughter
    OFFENDERS BY AGE, GENDER AND RACE
    Grouping male and female together and ignoring race, the age breakdown of 488 murderers in 2017 was:
    Under 15 3
    15-19 89
    20-24 118
    25-29 74
    30-34 40
    35-39 32
    40-44 22
    45-49 23
    50-54 14
    55-59 11
    60-64 9
    65 & over 7
    Unknown 44
    So of 488 murderers responsible for 455 deaths, 41 (8.4%) were 50 and over in 2017.

    2018’s report uses different age groupings
    https://www.vsp.virginia.gov/downloads/Crime_in_Virginia/Crime_in_Virginia_2018.pdf
    under 18 34
    18-24 122
    25-34 107
    35-44 63
    45-54 28
    55-64 25
    65 and over 11
    Unknown 30
    In 2018, 420 murderers killed 391 people. 36 (8.5%) were 55 or older.
    (These would all be Class 1 offenders.)

    • Excellent! Now the question is how many of those 41 murderers who are 50 or older get released from prison early. (Remember, that’s just one year’s worth of murderers.)

      • It does not help to look at murders generally. Under current law, any offender committing a murder other than capital murder (Class 1 offense) would be eligible for geriatric release when he met the age and time served criteria. However, the Parole Board has not seen fit to grant those requests for release. (See my post later on in this thread.)

  4. Those reports only reflect those who committed murders in their 50s or older. That age is no guarantee against future crimes for those who might be released. Those prisoners they’re considering releasing would have been at least 15-20 years younger when they were imprisoned, and there were 336 murderers 40 or older who were imprisoned between 2001 and 2005.

    But all this is ignoring the reason for the suggestion: saving on medical costs. Virginia Public Media/NPR has a podcast fro September, 2018, “Virginia Prison Population Growing Older, More Expensive to Treat.” https://vpm.org/news/articles/6630/virginia-prison-population-growing-older-more-expensive-to-treat

    The article with it has a chart that shows about 21% of the prison population is over 50, “but use nearly half the department [of correction]’s annual hospital budget. Medicaid and Medicare do not cover people who are incarcerated.”
    A report by the Joint Commission on Healthcare, a research arm of the General Assembly, recommended “lowering the age at which inmates can qualify for early release from 60 to 55 when they have complex medical problems.”

    Another article from 2016, “Elderly Inmates Burden State Prisons” said “822 state prisoners were 50 and over (corrections officials usually consider old age for prisoners to begin at 50 or 55) in 1990, about 4.5 percent of all inmates. By 2014, that number had grown to 7,202, or 20 percent of all inmates….In 2013, nearly half the $58 million that Virginia spent on off-site prisoner health care went to the care of older prisoners…”
    https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2016/03/17/elderly-inmates-burden-state-prisons

    The recent string of wrongful death court cases involving lack of proper medical care in prisons could also be adding to the financial incentive to let older prisoners out early.

  5. re: medical

    I was under the impression that the Medicaid expansion covered the prisons:

  6. See, now this gets my attention. These individuals are locked up for their possible working years, leaving them entirely destitute (and probably still facing unpaid fines and restitution debt) and with too few work credits for Medicare may maybe no Social Security, kept in a confined environment that cannot be conducive to good health, and then we turn them loose just as the health care wolf appears at the door? There is a pretty good cruel and unusual punishment claim….I know, showing compassion to murderers seems odd, but isn’t it likely they will offend again just to get back inside for the health care? This needs more thought…do they cost us more as inmates or as Medicaid recipients, for example. Perhaps they must be released in their 50s to at least have a chance to work 10 years for those benefits!

    • Dang, you sound like a LIBERAL! 😉 I suspect the calculation is somewhere along the lines of if 100 go free and do not offend again but one does and someone dies as a result – there will be hell to pay – shades of Willie Horton!

      Also with respect to Medicare – I don’t think it works like Social Security – i.e credits for work – when you hit 65, you are eligible and everyone pays the same premium unless your income is over 85K then you pay more, etc.

      There is also a concept known as “dual-eligibles” which means Medicaid will pay the Medicare premiums if you cannot afford them.

      Medicare will not pay for incarcerated folks but will pay once they are released but again Medicaid will pay the premiums for Medicare if the individual cannot afford it.

      I’m not in favor of releasing people with a history of violence towards others – just because they get old won’t necessarily change that behavior.

      At the same time – inhumane treatment in the prisons becomes the impetus to release offenders. If prisons were more human then keeping folks with a history of violence – locked up – instead of released might be a different calculation.

  7. Another alternative might be prisons for those with medical problems and over 50, etc. I think the Feds have done that for a while now.

    United States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Medical_Center_for_Federal_Prisoners

  8. There is so much here to respond to, it would take all day. First of all, Mr. Bader may have jumped to a conclusion too soon. And his fears are exaggerated in any event. It seems that he is basing his objections on a summary bullet in the list of the Governor’s public safety recommendations. Before getting too excited, we should wait to see the actual proposed legislation.

    Current Virginia law authorizes parole consideration for felons, other than those convicted of Class 1 offenses, who are 65 and have served at least 5 years of their sentence or who are 60 and have served at least 10 years of their sentences. The Governor’s proposal may be just amending those criteria and not changing the exception for Class 1 offenses. Again, wait to see the bill. (The Governor’s office, or whoever wrote the bullets, again was being shortsighted. It should have noted whether it was keeping the Class 1 exception to geriatric release eligibility. If so, that would have helped Mr. Bader’s blood pressure!)

    Another factor to consider is that, whatever is the legislation, it would not guarantee release, only parole consideration. Even with the current criteria, the Parole Board has been notoriously reluctant to release those eligible for geriatric release. (Also, many of those eligible for geriatric release are old enough to have committed their crimes before 1995 and thus are eligible for consideration for regular parole.) According to data provided by DOC in 2019, over the prior three years, 1,673 inmates were considered for geriatric release. The Parole Board approved 89, or 5 percent. Furthermore, last year there was legislation making some violent felonies, in addition to a Class 1 felony, ineligible for geriatric release. It did not pass, but it was not needed. Over the three years prior to 2019, 263 inmates who had been convicted for one or more of those offenses were considered for geriatric release. None were granted. The Parole Board is not going to release serial killers or rapists.

    Regarding another issue that came up in the discussion, as I have described in an earlier post, Medicaid coverage is partially available for inmates. The state can get Medicaid reimbursement for the medical costs of those inmates who have been admitted as inpatients to hospitals.

  9. For murderers and rapists, where is the consideration of the victims and/or their families? I guess they don’t count in Northam’s virtue-signaling world.

  10. Not letting the prisoner out without consent of the affected family. And no release for any prisoner who sentence was reduced from death to life without parole. A key argument against the death penalty is life without parole means the prisoner never gets out of prison.

    • Giving family members of the victim a veto over the release of an inmate seems extreme. Who would constitute the “affected family?” Uncles, aunts, cousins, in-laws? Would each person defined as constituting the “affected family” have to give consent? Victims or their family members are notified when an inmate is eligible for parole and are provided an opportunity to voice any objections or concerns to the Parole Board.

      If an offender were sentenced to death and that sentence was later commuted by the Governor, he has the option to commute it to life without parole. Under current Virginia law, a life sentence is a life sentence, because no one convicted of an offense committed after Jan. 1, 1995 is eligible for parole, with the exception of the geriatric release provisions already discussed.

      • Murdering one’s father, mother, son, or daughter would seem extreme, not the freeing by gov. decree of their murderers.

        • At the risk of being called “liberal” again, no. The victims’ families are neither the court nor the jury and their wishes do not override the state’s general interest. The charge is the Commonwealth versus whoever.

          • Reed Fawell 3rd

            But they should have such rights, particularly now, when their government cannot be trusted, and here they are not playing judge and jury, their interests are simply being respected, not demeaned and/or ignored, altogether by their government.

          • Reed Fawell 3rd

            Steve, what we are witnessing here comes right out of the Social Justice playbook that has essentially taken over many of our elite colleges and universities, including many departments at UVA.

            Anyone who wants to educate themselves on much of what is happening in Virginia right now, and how it threatens Virginia’s future, then they need to read and study this report by the National Associate of Scholars:

            https://www.nas.org/storage/app/media/Reports/Social%20Justice%20Education%20in%20America/NAS_Social%20Justice_Report-Web.pdf

          • Prosecutors regularly consult the victim’s family members in determining what charges to seek, what punishment to seek and whether to offer a plea deal. Similarly, where there are parole boards, they regularly consider the views of the victim’s family in making parole decisions. It seems quite logical to extend this to early release decisions.

      • Dick, I’m talking about murder and rape. Justice demands the criminal serve the entire sentence. We are now talking about mercy. How is it extreme to condition mercy on the views of the victim’s family (assuming the victim is dead)?

        You raise a reasonable point that the law would have to define family and to do it in some reasonable manner. Probably something like parents, spouse, children.

        And before his term is complete, Northam will propose allowing at least someone sentenced to life without parole for murder to be released (and not because of new evidence strongly indicating innocence). That’s what shallow people without consciences do.

  11. Perhaps this is a good sign.

    Typically, many corrupt and collapsing regimes will open their prisons at the end, letting their felons and murderers go free to prey on the general public.

    • One interesting fact is the concurrent news that, while Virginia’s governor wants to free most all murders of middle age from Virginia prisons, there are fears among Virginians that their government will lock away in prison Virginia citizens who exercise their 2nd amendment right to own guns.

      Perhaps the governor also wants to free these murderers so he can free up prison space for those Virginians who dare to exercise their rights under the US Constitution to own guns to protect themselves and their property from their own government, and from the felons that their government releases from prison.

      These government tactics typically are deployed by totalitarian states, like Saddam Hussein’s.

      • Reed, did you even read my earlier comment? First of all, we don’t know exactly what the governor is proposing; the actual bill has not been filed. Second, whatever is being proposed by the governor, it is not freeing murderers. It is expanding the existing criteria by which older inmates who have served a significant number of years can be eligible to be considered for geriatric release. The Virginia Parole Board has a history of approving only a small percentage of those eligible for geriatric release.

        And the proposed expansion does not dramatically change the law. Under the current law, a 30-year old offender who committed a first-degree murder (Class 2 felony) and received a life sentence would be eligible for consideration for geriatric release at age 60, after serving 30 years. Under the proposal, that offender would be eligible for consideration for geriatric release at age 50 after serving 20 years. The Parole Board would take into consideration all the circumstances of the offense, the risk that the offender would re-offend if released, as well as the offender’s history during incarceration, before deciding whether to grant geriatric release.

        Basically the main effect of this proposal would be to increase the workload of the Parole Board and result perhaps in a marginal increase in the number of offenders released on geriatric release.

        • Dick – thank you for bringing your comment to my attention. I have no reason to doubt the technical accuracy of what you state, and your belief in its truth. The problem is that this is the way all progressive proposals start out, the first nose under the tent. Then they rapidly expand and conflate into some expanded beyond the typical citizens imagination and belief. This happens now again and again and again. So as I suggested, our recent past is prologue to our future under the leviathan state. So if you want to see our future should progressives get their way nationally incl. Virginia, and including what is going on now, study this, as it is happening all around us, by people who disregard all laws, if only by how they later administer them:

          https://www.nas.org/storage/app/media/Reports/Social%20Justice%20Education%20in%20America/NAS_Social%20Justice_Report-Web.pdf

        • Leftists deploy an elaborate set of theories, rationales and rules by which they “deconstruct” societies and culture. This is their stock and trade. It is their central overriding mission.

          They’ve used their techniques with enormous success over the past three decades, but particularly so over past ten years, thanks to our modern elite universities and colleges, driven by Social Justice ideologies and its practice.

          To break down a culture, the leftists’ work hard to break down our society and its culture’s support systems, what would otherwise sustain and nourish us and our children – strong families, communities, churches, and their values and traditions. All these are critically necessary to ground and nourish our young, giving them morals, empathy, confidence, emotional stability, social skills, and knowledge to think and act for themselves, and to deal with the real world based on their own upbringing, instead of a world of illusions invented by others seeking to control and manipulate them as happens today increasingly at our colleges and universities under rubrics of cultural warfare ideologies like Social Justice. Hence the assault.

          How do we know this is going on all around us? Take for example, this:

          How did it happen that the Title IX enacted decades ago to insure equality of women sports in higher education, beginning around 2011 morphed into a rape epidemic on college campuses along with toxic masculinity, endless definitions of sexual harassment and endless regulations imposed by government and universities on student’s sexual behavior, which in turn ignited an explosion of Star Chambers proceeding that lacked due process in university trials, along with faculty induced hysteria of students, like torch lit marches of protest against rape, and trashing of fraternity houses of innocent students? How’d it happen?

          Meanwhile, under banner of women’s rights, the universities simultaneously allowed, often promoted, and hid from public sight, the infamous hook up culture, and all the terrible damage that terrible culture was doing to kids happening in front of noses of administrators entrusted by parents with their kids education, protection and care. Never have so few hurt so many, and no one takes responsibility, not even to this day, but doubles down on the harm done to students instead.

          Consider too that now we have evolved to the point where six grade girls fear going to the bathroom in public schools because now those girl’s rooms are filled with boys claiming to feel like girls. Meanwhile, their older sisters in college must compete at track meets against boys claiming to feel like girls.

          Given our past, is it now reasonable to fear that convicted rapist and killers are up next on the block of Social Justice and Equity for all according the our leftist college professors, who now increasingly appear to have politicians working alongside them for political advantage to as to buy votes and more power by pitting yet more groups of Americans against one another.

  12. Well, HB431 does exclude Class 1 offenders, except that still leaves Class 2 murderers eligible for this plan. From a lawyer’s website:
    Class 1 Felonies: Under Virginia law, the most serious felonies are Class 1 felonies, punishable by life imprisonment and a fine of up to $100,000. If the defendant was over the age of 18 at the time of the offense and not mentally impaired, Class 1 felonies may also be punishable by death. (Premeditated murder under special circumstances)
    (Va. Ann. Code § 18.2-10.)

    A Class 2 felony is punishable by imprisonment for 20 years to life and a fine of up to $100,000. (Murder, aggravated malicious wounding, burglary with a deadly weapon)
    —————————
    https://www.richmondsunlight.com/bill/2020/hb431/fulltext/
    HOUSE BILL NO. 431
    Offered January 8, 2020
    Prefiled January 3, 2020
    A BILL to amend and reenact § 53.1-40.01 of the Code of Virginia, relating to conditional release of geriatric prisoners.
    Patron– Scott
    Committee Referral Pending
    Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

    1. That § 53.1-40.01 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:
    § 53.1-40.01. Conditional release of geriatric prisoners.
    Any person serving a sentence imposed upon a conviction for a felony offense, other than a Class 1 felony, (i) who has reached the age of sixty-five 65 or older and who has served at least five years of the sentence imposed or (ii) who has reached the age of sixty 60 or older and who has served at least ten 10 years of the sentence imposed may petition the Parole Board for shall be granted conditional release. The Parole Board shall promulgate regulations to implement the provisions of this section.

    • I am pretty certain that this is not the legislation proposed by the Governor, because it does not do what was described in the Governor’s press release. First of all, it does not change the age criteria from 65 and 60 to 55 and 50. Secondly, and this is the real effect of the bill, it requires that any offenders meeting the criteria be released, rather than making them eligible for consideration for conditional release.

      This is not a good bill. It was obviously introduced by a freshman delegate and reflects the naivete of someone unfamiliar with the prison population. When I worked for DPB, the Dept. of Corrections was my primary agency assignment. As part of this assignment, I regularly toured prisons. On one of my early visits, I saw an elderly male inmate. I remarked to the prison administrator accompanying me on my tour that the inmate certainly couldn’t represent a danger to society and was a good example of someone who should be released. The administrator smiled and proceeded to tell me the story of the inmate. Although he was fairly old, he had not been in prison very long (I can’t remember the exact number of years). He had gotten into an argument with his sister-in-law over keys to a truck. So, he went into his house and brought out a gun and blew her away.

      My point is not that no older inmates should be released before completing their long sentences. There are some that have been in prison a long time and could be released without imposing a danger to public safety. At the same time, there are a lot who have committed their crimes fairly recently, in particular sex crimes, and need to remain incarcerated to protect the public. My point is that the law should not be absolute either way; the Parole Board needs to have the discretion to grant geriatric release to those older inmates that it feels have served sufficient time for their crimes and would no longer pose a danger to society.

      • A very reasonable comment. The problem as always is the character and wisdom of those doing the implementation, especially where the crimes committed by these criminals are so terribly serious, and the rights and concerns of their victims and close kin typically are ignored.

        In addition, this comment below raises big, waving red flags:

        “First of all, it does not change the age criteria from 65 and 60 to 55 and 50.”

        If this be true, the bill is not about geriatric prisoners. It is instead the typical leftist’s nose under the tent tactic of Social Justice Warriors busy at work on their jihad.

  13. It’s a cost cutting move.
    https://www.richmondsunlight.com/bill/2020/hj30/fulltext/
    HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 30
    Directing the Virginia State Crime Commission to study the low use of geriatric parole in the Commonwealth. Report.
    WHEREAS, the number of older inmates has increased significantly in recent years; and

    WHEREAS, incarceration has been shown to exacerbate the effects of aging due to a history of substance abuse among prisoners, inadequate preventative care, and stress linked to prison life; and

    WHEREAS, Virginia spends approximately $32,000 on each inmate, and health care costs of aging inmates are expected to continue to rise, increasing the overall cost; and

    WHEREAS, a majority of inmates eligible for geriatric parole are denied release; between January 2014 and March 2017, only 4.2 percent of eligible geriatric inmates were paroled; now, therefore, be it

    RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the Virginia State Crime Commission be directed to study the low use of geriatric parole in the Commonwealth.
    In conducting its study, the Virginia State Crime Commission shall (i) examine the history of the use of geriatric parole in the Commonwealth and why so few inmates have been granted geriatric parole, (ii) compare the use of geriatric parole in the Commonwealth with the use of similar types of parole in other states, (iii) assess the current number of inmates and types of offenses that would be potentially appropriate for release on geriatric parole, (iv) determine any monetary cost to the Commonwealth of continuing to incarcerate persons eligible for geriatric parole or potential savings if more inmates were to be released on geriatric parole, and (v) provide recommendations on the appropriate structure for increasing the number of inmates eligible for geriatric parole.

  14. “WHEREAS, incarceration has been shown to exacerbate the effects of aging due to a history of substance abuse among prisoners, inadequate preventative care, and stress linked to prison life; and”

    Do you believe that? I don’t. If it is true, why not release all prisoners, due to state incompetence and its cruel and usual punishment.

    “WHEREAS, Virginia spends approximately $32,000 on each inmate, and health care costs of aging inmates are expected to continue to rise, increasing the overall cost;”

    So what? Will it not be far higher once they get outside? And how many citizens will die or be harmed as a result of their release. After all their must be some very good reason only only 4.2 percent of eligible geriatric inmates were paroled per below.

    WHEREAS, a majority of inmates eligible for geriatric parole are denied release; between January 2014 and March 2017, only 4.2 percent of eligible geriatric inmates were paroled.

  15. The point of the column was less that criminals in their 50s are still dangerous and more about the referencing of 50 – somethings as “elderly”. This is either lightly veiled dishonesty or gross incompetence. Either way – there’s a reason many people (including well educated people) don’t trust the media (or journalists for that matter) and it has nothing to do with the internet.

  16. Pingback: Virginia Democrats Working On Freeing Violent Criminals While Disarming Lawful Gun Owners - eEventonline.com

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